Ohio State University
1945 N. High St.
Institutional Affiliation: The Ohio State University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|December 2015||Historical Origins of a Major Killer: Cardiovascular Disease in the American South|
with Richard H. Steckel: w21809
When building major organs the fetus responds to signals via the placenta that forecast post-natal nutrition. A mismatch between expectations and reality creates physiological stress and elevates several noninfectious chronic diseases. Applying this concept, we investigate the historical origins of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the American South using rapid income growth from 1950 to 1980 as a proxy for socioeconomic forces that created unbalanced physical growth among southern children born after WWII. Using state-level data on income growth, smoking, obesity and education, we explain over 70% of the variance in current CVD mortality rates across the country.